Friday, September 19, 2014

NFL incidents of violence against women just tip of sexism iceberg in USA

The NFL is absolutely reeling from a messy, stinking dirty-bomb of scandals these last few weeks. Aaron Hernandez is but a distant memory at this stage, as player after player ends up in trouble for a variety of reasons.


Adrian Peterson had kind of taken the focus off of the Ray Rice incident, but the Greg Hardy and Jonathon Dwyer cases once again brought violence against women to the fore. The NFL dragged its heels at first, but is now apparently adopting a much needed zero tolerance attitude to these cases of bullies attacking women under the previously somewhat protected tent of being their boyfriends, husbands or partners.

Throwing Ray Rice out of football is a step.

The thing is, this move is like having to walk from Boston to San Diego and lifting your leg and taking just one step. This move is nothing but a tiny bandage on the massive, gaping gash that is sexism in the USA today.

Sexism is rampant all around us, and particularly so in the Worlds of sports and entertainment.
This is a communal disaster many years in the making and you, me, everybody, we're all complicit. To borrow a phrase, we're all witnesses.

It's against this backdrop of hateful, misogynistic sexism that our youth are being brought up, and so it is no shock that less intelligent, small minded people like Ray Rice succumb to the glaring, screaming, neon light message of sexism all around them and do what they are being told to do.
Treat women like dirt.

Sports in the USA is a horrible breeding ground for sexism. It's an unapologetic vehicle for absolute, glorified, misogynistic sexism. There are different levels to it, some more obvious than others, from the rape-culture men's oriented websites that spew misogynistic hate to the NFL cheerleaders and their skimpy outfits and cheesy, Playboy magazine like act.

Entertainment is the USA makes Sports look intelligent and careful of thought in comparison. Have you bothered to check out the music videos your kids are watching these days? Music videos are essentially soft core porn now, and those are the light ones. There is another, heavier level of really degrading, sexist music video making, that treats women like animals.

Shake your head and disagree if you want, but again, do some research first. Just watch a couple of the latest hit music videos and think to yourself, how are women represented in these?
Spoiler alert; not well.

Back to sports, the biggest problem in terms of sexism in sports in the USA is the proliferation of men's sports websites that are basically soft core porn portals that are building and encouraging the rapists of tomorrow. It's all about how women are depicted in these trashy online cess pits. Women are something to be judged, laughed at, voted upon and, by all means, aggressively sexually hunted.

Cheerleading in the NFL is another sneakily depressing issue. Aggressive fans of NFL cheerleading, and sexist exposure of women's bodies in general, will no doubt start the 'Raar Raar rhubarb rhubarb' chant, but that's simply because they don't want to tax their small minds by actually thinking about a problem. Plus, their respect for women has been battered to a pulp by years of abusive revenge-porn, sexist videos on MTV and rape-culture men's magazines, print and online.

These sites breed sexism, they breed contempt and hatred for women at an alarming pace and on an alarming scale. Let’s just say a trip to the depths of, for example, Bleacher Report article comment section is something that future generations will probably study in terms of the depths of human stupidity. A more moronic, monosyllabic and ignorant place you shall never find.

This ‘article’ brought out the best in Alabama football fans  (click the image to view the comments but be warned, some are offensive).


It's not just the quasi-rape sites like the reprehensible Barstool sports and Bleacher Report, which isn't far behind, mainstream US sports media is really no better. Check out this comment section on a recent ESPN article about former MLB players Chuck Knoblauch abusing his partner.


Then there's cheerleading.

Sure, cheerleading has some sort of skill and function in college. Absolutely. Plus, it's focus is on gymnastic cheer-leading, and is unisex and finally, the costumes are not skimpy. You can understand the point of cheerleading in college. NFL cheerleading? Nothing short of sexist.

The constant battering ram of 'Hottest cheerleader!' slide shows on the openly sexist, rape-cajoling 'sports' websites aimed at American youth is mind bendingly disturbing. If you are in doubt that NFL cheerleading is sexist, just do yourself a favour. Do some due-diligence and have a little look at how NFL cheerleaders are presented to us by sports websites. Sports Illustrated take the stoic approach, their Hugh Heffner like styling is pathetic but, mostly, at least not overtly pornographic or aggressive.
Onto the 'harder' stuff. Have a look at the following if you think NFL cheerleading isn't a pursuit hijacked by sexism in the USA. Websites cajole us to marvel at their own slideshow of the NFL's 'hottest' cheerleader. It's absolute stone cold sexism and it has become so embedded in US society that we don't even see it for what it is any more.

Even these examples are just a tiny percentage of the instances of sexism in or associated with sports in the USA. Lingerie football, really? Women running around in skimpy outfits under the pretence of playing football. It would be laughable if it wasn't so abjectly pathetic, and a percentage part of the problem of sexism in the USA. Hooters. I mean, really. Hooters. Come and ogle women in skimpy outfits while you stuff yourself with chicken wings. That's not sexist at all.

If you want to bury your head in the sand and say that cheerleading isn't sexist, and that those men's sports websites are just having a good time and that Hooters has great chicken wings and that Lingerie football is just a good time, go for it, go bury your head deep in that proverbial sand.
Just don't come crying once yet another product of this system we are running, this process of growth of misogynistic behaviour, abuses or hurts yet another woman.

We're building monsters, and we are apparently all okay with it.


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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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